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Madrasah Tilla-Kori in Samarkand

Madrasah Tilla-Kori, Samarkand

Tilla-Kori Madrasah (“trimmed with gold”) was built in 1646-1660. in place of the old caravanserai that remained from the time of Ulugbek. According to the plan of Yalangtush Biy Bahodur, the Madrasah should have closed the Registan square with its facade, and the mosque should also be located in the building itself so that students can pray without leaving Madrassah.

The facade, solved in the Bukhara architectural tradition, that is, decorated with two tiers of lancet niches located on both sides of the portal. This technique, brought to Samarkand architecture, did not violate, however, the integrity and grandeur of the ensemble, which is an outstanding monument of world architecture. The main facade has a symmetrical composition with a central portal, frontal wings with two tiers of hujras facing the square with arched niches - loggias and corner towers - guldast.

A vast four-yard courtyard is surrounded by cells (two floors along the main facade; one on the rest). The western part of the building is occupied by the domed building of the mosque with two adjacent galleries on the pillars. In the center is a square, cruciform in plan view. At the bottom are curbs of carved stalactites. The remaining surfaces of the walls and the vault were completely covered with Kundal painting with abundant gilding. The mihrab and the eleven-step minbar (elevation for the preacher - the imam) were gilded. The abundance of gold in the decoration and determined the name Tilla-Corey.

The room of the mosque was blocked by a double dome, but the construction of the outer dome was not completed. The exterior and courtyard facades are lined with brick and typesetting mosaics and majolica with geometric, floral and epigraphic patterns. Massive wooden doors are decorated with delicate floral and epigraphic ornaments.

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Unfortunately, since the end of the 17th century, a new period of stagnation and decline in the life of Samarkand has been outlined, which by that time had lost the status of the capital, which was transferred to Bukhara. The Great Silk Road passed the city side, madrassas stood empty and forgotten and only wild animals lived in their walls. The population of the city barely had a thousand families.

In 1875, the square was put in order, leveled and tiled. Registan, as before, became the center of the city. In 1918, after the establishment of Soviet power in Samarkand, the activities of madrassas, as theological schools, were discontinued. A year later, demolished shops. However, the Soviet government spent an impressive amount of manpower and money on the restoration of the magnificent monuments of the Registan Square: all three madrassas were raised from ruins and recreated almost in their original form. Restoration work, begun back in the 1920s, was completed almost before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 2001, this outstanding architectural monument was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tilya-Kori Madrasah was the last construction of the Registan.

Entrance fee to Registan: 4 USD

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